The Bush administration borrows from China to wage war against anyone who would stand in the way of Bush's plutocrat friends. His friends don't want the U.S. government tracking the use of pesticides. Therefore, rather than saving money for intelligent things, such as taking care of the planet, the U.S. spends on the Pentagon so the U.S. can (for a little season) be the top nation under the evil spirit of violence and lord it over the world — Reckless, foolish, unrepentant liars.
By GARANCE BURKE Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 05/21/2008 04:19:21 PM PDT
FRESNO, Calif.—Consumers lost a key source of information about what's sprayed on their food on Wednesday, the last day the government published a long-standing national survey that tracks the amount of pesticides used on everything from corn to apples.
Despite opposition from prominent scientists, the nation's largest farming organizations and environmental groups, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Wednesday it plans to do away [with] the program.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also uses the fine-grained data when figuring out how chemicals should be regulated, and which pesticides pose the greatest risk to public health.
"If you don't know what's being used, then you don't know what to look for," said Charles Benbrook, chief scientist at The Organic Center, a nonprofit in Enterprise, Ore. "In the absence of information, people can be lulled into thinking that there are no problems with the use of pesticides on food in this country."
Joe Reilly, an acting administrator at the National Agricultural Statistics Service, said the program was cut because the agency could no longer afford to spend the $8 million the survey sapped from its $160 million annual budget.
And environmental groups use it to analyze which chemicals could turn up in local water supplies or endanger critical species.
In 2003, the Natural Resources Defense Council used the federal survey to prepare a suit against the EPA, claiming the government failed to assess whether the common herbicide atrazine threatened the survival of endangered Chesapeake Bay sea turtles, endangered Texas salamanders and 16 other aquatic species. The case was settled in 2006.
Reilly said the agency would "love to reinstate the program," but said for now it will only do key surveys such as the monthly crop report, which influences commodity prices on the futures market and livestock reports, which set the price for hogs and cattle.